Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 119:97-120

Prayer Point. I’m not sure that I measure up to David’s devotion of God and His ways, so for me, this psalms is an invitation to repent. Confess to God that we don’t delight in His law nor do we cherish His wisdom. Pray for the faith to believe that his ways will provide us a lamp for our feet to navigate the darkness of our world.

Matthew 5:38-48

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. The Mosaic Law was given to control excesses. The principle of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” was created to restrain violence, and the desire for revenge. It was a legal principle meant to limit the damage of our sinful hearts.

Now, Jesus enters the scene and he has come to break the power of sin in our lives. Once he does that, the old principle of “an eye for an eye” is no longer necessary. What new and greater command does Jesus give us concerning our enemies? What are we to do if our enemy humiliates us? How do we as Christians “resist” injustice?

“Going the mile” was one of the most hated of the Roman laws imposed on occupied Israel. A Roman soldier had the right to force a non-citizen, which most Jews were, to carry his luggage for a mile. How does Jesus instruct his disciples to respond to this unjust law?

When Israel entered the Promised Land, God ordered them to kill the evil peoples that lived in the Land. They were instruments of God’s justice in this special case. This fueled the Pharisee’s notion that the people should love their neighbor, but hate their enemies. How does Jesus teach us to treat our enemies? Why will we not be rewarded for simply loving those who love us? How does God love his enemies and what would it mean for us to imitate him?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. While Paul taught the Christians in Corinth not to associate with people who profess to be Christians and are blatantly immoral (and unrepentant), how were they to treat people who were immoral but did NOT profess to be followers of Jesus? Think about how Jesus treated unbelievers who were openly immoral (see John 4:1-26).

How are Christians called to handle disputes, even civil disputes that they might have with other Christians? What, in Paul’s eyes, is a better alternative than taking a Christian brother or sister to court and winning?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

2 Kings 6:1-23

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. This story occurs during a time in Israel’s history when the worship of foreign gods was rampant. These ‘gods’ were trusted to fight wars on behalf of Israel and to provide for Israel. How does God reveal himself to be both, the provider in Israel and the protector of Israel?  How would we live differently in the world if we could see the world, as Gehazi did, through God’s eyes?

You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  1 John 4:4

How does Elisha’s action pave the way for peace between Israel and Aram?

[ESV Study Bible Notes p. 655 “6:18 blindness. Probably not a loss of physical sight (since the Syrians would not doubt their location just because they could no longer physically see it), but rather a dazed mental condition in which they are open to suggestion and manipulation but still able to follow the prophet to Samaria. The Syrians are ‘bedazzled’ and do not ‘see’ things clearly, whereas Elisha’s servant has been given perfect clarity of ‘sight’ about reality.”]

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

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